Hyperhydrosis (armpit sweating)
Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating in the armpits, palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. It is an embarrassing affliction that affects an estimated 3% of Americans. There are a number of underlying diseases and neurological causes for hyperhidrosis. In some cases, it is hereditary. Heat and emotions can also trigger bouts of hyperhidrosis, but people who suffer from the condition usually do so regardless of their mood or the weather. To those who are not affected by it, hyperhydrosis can seem like a small nuisance, but people living with the condition know that the embarrassing effects can wreak havoc on many aspects of their life, especially social situations.
There are several treatment options available for hyperhidrosis. Of course, the first thing patients are likely to try is a change in antiperspirants. Antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride work the best at combating hyperhidrosis, but still may not be enough. Doctors are able to prescribe antiperspirants that contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate, which is also known for its antiperspirant properties. Oral drugs that contain glycopyrrolate (such as Robinul) can be used for treating hyperhidrosis, but in order for them to work, side effects like dry mouth and blurred vision often occur.
Due its popularity as a treatment for wrinkles and other signs of aging, most people would not associate Botox with curing hyperhidrosis. However, it can be quite effective in treating the problem. Botox injections in the armpits are quick, painless and require almost no recovery time. The benefits of the injections can last for up to six months. Since Botox recently received the green light from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis, most insurance policies now cover the procedure.
If the aforementioned treatments fail to work and the hyperhidrosis is severe enough, there is a surgical procedure that can be performed to alleviate the problem. The procedure, known as thoracic sympathectomy, destroys part of the nerve supply to the sweat glands in the skin. While sympathectomy is effective, the risks sometimes outweigh the benefits. Even with newer endoscopic techniques, the complications can include excessive sweating in other parts of the body as well as lung and nerve problems. Because these complications are serious and not reversible, this procedure is often used only as a last resort.
If you have been suffering from hyperhidrosis, the professionals at La Peer Health Group can help you find a solution. Our physicians can diagnose the cause of the hyperhidrosis based on your medical history and then tailor a treatment plan that will alleviate the bothersome condition once and for all. Contact our office today to schedule your private consultation with our knowledgeable staff.